Bridge - The Scotsman 27/12/2011

Tuesday’s bridge...

The IBPA best-defended hand award was given for this deal from the US Fall Nationals in 2010. North-South’s system was artificial, but both players showed balanced hands on the way to 3NT. West led the king of hearts and declarer ducked. She had six sure tricks and various chances to create three more.

Fleisher shifted passively to the jack of spades. Declarer won the king, cashed the ace and played a third spade. West took the ten and exited with her last spade, as East threw his last two hearts and South a club. Now declarer played a low diamond from dummy towards her ten, losing to the king. West continued to play passively, and exited with a diamond to dummy’s ace. Declarer cashed the king of clubs to reach this position:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The defenders had taken three tricks and declarer five. Now came the ten of clubs to the ace. West unblocked his queen to avoid being endplayed to lead a heart. South cashed the ace of hearts – and East discarded the jack of clubs to avoid being endplayed to lead a diamond. When South led her last club West won and cashed two hearts tricks for down two.

It is rare for both defenders to unblock in the same suit; rarer for both to do so at the right time.